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tv   The Communicators  CSPAN  January 3, 2011 8:00pm-8:08pm EST

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thank you. you can both go off together. >> next on "the communicators," a discussion of federal policies that affect technology companies. our guest is rey ramsey, the head of technet. and in a half an hour, foreign hosted by the muslim affairs council and what it means to be a muslim-american. >> is become "the communicators" a discussion about federal policy that directly affect technology companies. our guest is rey ramsey, president and ceo of technet.
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>> host: rey ramsey, what is technet? >> guest: technet is a bipartisan political and policy organization that has been around for about 15 years and our whole focus is to move an innovation agenda across the country. >> host: which companies are members of technet? >> guest: i would say we have got a nice list of good companies large and small from the silicon valley to boston to texas, so you know some of the names you would hero that you would know of from microsoft, google, intel but also companies like autodesk, and nice mists of companies. >> host: what is a technology policy? >> guest: technology policy is really all about technology driven innovation and so all the way from education to biomedical, to social in addition, things that use technology. those are the things. >> host: so specifically when we talk about issues, let's say
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net neutrality. what is it that technet does when it comes to net neutrality? >> guest: well we take a position and beget in the game of policy and you know the game a policy can be messy. you know sometimes, so we are trying to reach consensus among companies. we are trying to work with our whole set there, even companies that are not part of technet and trying to get a coherent policy in place so we work with the fcc. we work with the house committees from congressman waxman to other folks, rockefeller, to try to fashion policies that make sense for the country. >> host: what is technet's position on net neutrality? >> guest: net neutrality is one of those issues it happened to pick which is it all depends on how you define net neutrality. i think we now live in a time where no one can favor a discrimination in terms of the internet, so i would say our position is to try to seek a balance between innovation and
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investment. we want private sector investment in the infrastructure of broadband but at the same time we want to make sure that entrepreneurs are protected and not discriminated against and there is competition and that the consumer is not harmed so it is basic we do no harm and i would say our position is based on humility, that we don't know where technology is going to take us so let's put a structure in place that will have some principles. and i think the fcc chairman laid out some good principles about broadband and we tend to support those. >> host: so can you get your companies that belong to technet all in the same page when it comes to an issue like net neutrality? >> guest: well you never get 100% agreement on every aspect of an issue that i think we were able to forge a good enough consensus and net neutrality still very much for let's wait and see with the. we are all sort of waiting to see how this is going to play out that we were very much in
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favor of, let's have language that make sure wireless is covered in some way. let's make sure that the fcc itself has a level of authority to deal with these issues and then let's have room for technical analysis of where technology is taking us. that tends to be the free market fourth we have been looking for a technet. >> host: a broadband plan that was rolled out about a year ago. what is your position? >> guest: very much in favor and we applauded the administration for being the first one to have a broadband plan and it lays out good markers in key areas all the way from spectrum to universal service to net neutrality and the kinds of investments we need and test some big goals about where the country's going going to be in five years. i think that is a good thing and i think it's it sets a northstar and i really again applaud julius genachowski and his team in putting this together. >> host: when it comes to technology policy do you see it
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moving in a public-private co-venture sort of way? >> guest: i would say it has to, you know and i think when we try to go down a route that is only government making the investments we get into trouble. we look at this administration as a stimulus bill. they made a major down payment on broadband or the first time but when you compare to the private sector investment it is still fractional. so they have got to work together. the private sector with government and also the nonprofit. >> host: what about tax policy? guest go obviously every corporation is impacted by tax policy and our position is to do an overlay that says we need to be competitive. we need need to create a tax structure where companies can compete globally because so many more of technology-based companies are competing on a global playing field so we have some concerns with the existing tax structure. >> host: how would you like to see a change? >> guest: i think i would
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start with two things. one is always strategically where we would like to go and tactically where should we go? strategically in terms of taxes, we need to have a tax structure that is competitive globally, meaning that we should not have those territorial tax where we tax our companies at dirty 5% rate and follow their profits overseas and then we have of course this notion called deferral so we defer that until you bring the profits back to the u.s.. i think we need to have a lower rate, a rate that makes us more competitive with the other global competitors that tactically i think we have a unique opportunity here if we can figure out how to make this happen are going to could be bipartisan. it is something you'll hear this term repatriation and really let that is let's repatriate, let's bring some of those profits back to the united states. and if we could do a tax rate that makes sense we could have in essence another stimulus that could be a real jolt in a positive way for our economy.
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estimates range as much as a trillion dollars offshore what we could bring back to the united states if we could have a tax rate that makes sense. that is a short-term tactical solution but i think it has to fit into a longer-term strategic look at how can we have a globally competitive tax structure while also bringing in tax receipts for the government. >> host: rey ramsey a lot of people either on our morning show the "washington journal" or on "the communicators" where we have talked about tax policy they have all agreed on this. why is it not happening? who was holding it up? >> guest: it is hard to sort of say and unfortunately sometimes tax policy gets caught up in some of the demagoguery that can occur in washington because this is good policy. i am hopeful and optimistic that we can have the right coalition come together and figure out a way to do this. what you have to first usa what is the rate so you are not going to bring their money back.
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you are not going to repatriated at 35 so we have to come up with a rate that make sense. the next question is should it be open in terms of bringing it back with the companies or do we want to do something around jobs or investment? i think if we can sort that out the administration working together with corporate america and other organizations, unions and others i think we can reach a deal, bipartisan. >> host: your organization technet is only 15 years old. why did it not form earlier? >> guest: that is hard to say and i think it really coincides with the maturation of the tech sector. remember, we are made up of so many entrepreneurs and engineers and folks that would naturally turn to washington. they look to the universities and they look to themselves and they look to venture capitalists but suddenly over time, he getting to say well we are in this together with government
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